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Indian Railways gets first ‘Make in India’ electric locomotive with regenerative braking; what’s special

Nikita Prasad
Indian Railways

Indian Railways’ “first” electric locomotive with a regenerative system: Historical Make In India project flagged off for Indian Railways! The country s first electric locomotive with a regenerative system has been developed by PSU BHEL for Indian Railways has been flagged off from its Jhansi plant. The state-run organization BHEL has developed the state-of-the-art regeneration system through in-house R&D efforts for the railway network’s fleet of conventional electric locomotives, according to a recent PTI report. The regenerative technology helps avoid loss of heat energy when the brakes are applied and also feeds the energy back to the overhead power lines.

The concept of developing the energy-efficient regeneration system was proposed by the Railway Ministry. Further, BHEL responded to the national transporter by successfully developing the technology in-house, thus giving an impetus to the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The country’s first such regenerative 5,000 HP WAG-7 electric locomotive was flagged off from the company’s Jhansi plant.

Presently the electric locomotives in India have a dynamic braking system where the energy generated during the application of brakes gets wasted in the form of heat. According to a tweet shared by the Ministry of Railways, this regenerative braking system in conventional DC (direct current) locomotive has been developed for the first time in the history of worldwide traction. Indian Railways along with BHEL had undertaken this project of modifying its WAG7 locomotive. The project being a ‘Make in India’ initiative, will lead to a cost saving of Rs 25 lakh per locomotive per year.

Meanwhile, under the Make in India initiative, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to launch three big Indian Railways projects this month. Vande Bharat Express or Train 18, is India s first engineless, fastest self-propelled train will be flagged off from New Delhi Railway Station. PM Modi will also flag off Indian Railways first-ever converted-locomotive in a major event at Varanasi. The diesel locomotive has been converted into electric traction during its midlife rehabilitation, for the first time. Lastly, he will lay the foundation stone for the 17 km long new broad gauge railway line connecting Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu.